What Pineda/Cabral injuries mean to the Yankees roster

The injuries to Michael Pineda and Cesar Cabral certainly change the way the Yankees will plan out there roster. It sorted out the rotation immediately, but it does more than just that.

Clay Rapada seems to be the biggest beneficiary as the lone lefty competing for a spot behind Boone Logan. However, manager Joe Girardi did not commit to Rapada and left open the possibility that the Yankees would fill one of the two open roster spots another way.

So who else might take on of the two spots vacated by Pineda and Cabral? There are a few possibilities.

There is a good chance that either Adam Warren, David Phelps, or D.J. Mitchell are added as a long-reliever. It’s hard to say which one exactly. It is possible that two of the three make the team. One scenario would be Warren or Phelps as the long-man and Mitchell as a typical middle innings reliever.

There is also Justin Maxwell and to a lesser extent Chris Dickerson. Both have solid upside as a spare outfielder. Right now the Yankees have been saying that they would use Raul Ibanez in the outfield though so until Girardi realizes he can’t play the field and makes him a strict DH this seems unlikely. However, Maxwell in particular has been playing very well in spring training and is also out of options. If the Yankees don’t use him on the major league roster he gets cut or traded. So they may consider keeping him around at least temporarily.

Two other names that stand out as potential longshots to make the roster now are Bill Hall and George Kontos.

Hall isn’t much of a player anymore, his best days are behind him, however he does bring extraordinary versatility with him which could be intriguing to Girardi. The pop in his bat coming off the bench might sway them to consider him as well.

Kontos seems like the longest shot of the group. He missed time with an oblique injury earlier in spring training, but is back on track now. Girardi’s preference has been for a long-man though so it seems that he will be fighting Rapada and the bench guys for a spot. ¬†I don’t see this one happening, but it’s a possibility so I wanted to include it.

I tend to think that Rapada will definitely make the team because he’ll be gone if he isn’t. No minor leagues for him. I think Maxwell will get serious consideration for the same reason, but unless Cory Wade starts the season in the minors, I expect Warren, Phelps, or Mitchell to get the nod over him. The Yankees have to start developing some of that young pitching at the major league level eventually.

Essentially this gives the Yankees lots of options. With a few more games before the season even gets underway, expect them to take their time in making a decision. As last night showed, injuries can happen quickly.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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2 Responses to What Pineda/Cabral injuries mean to the Yankees roster

  1. Tanned Tom says:

    We all have to have a cause. For much of this off season mine was trading A.J. Burnett, I felt it was necessary and was going to happen. Now that the circus has left town my new crusade is to cut Ibanez. On a team with a number of good hitting veterans who can use a day off from the field, with Andruw Jones hitting so well against lefties, with Alex Rodriguez needing to begin shifting to DH (due to his injury history and length of contract), there is no way the team should carry a single use player like Ibanez unless he is a stellar player. At age 40, coming off a terrible season (.289 OBP), useless in the field, dead weight on the base paths, this signing never made sense. If they had to have a 40 year old DH, they should have re-signed Giambi, at least he still has a good OBP.
    I like the idea of keeping Maxwell, but Bill Hall is done. What good is versatility if you stink everywhere? I saw this guy play last year for the Giants and he can't hit, run or field anymore. Middle infielders are usually done by 35 and on the decline by 30-32, they're rough positions. Hall is 32, but looked 52, plus he hasn't hit even remotely well for years.

  2. John says:

    Tom your right keep Maxwell run with the six man pen but there is a chance they carry DJ Mitchell or Warran or Phelps instead of Rapada for long relief reasons
    Hall I feel bad for

    Wade after this year is gone I think but he could surprise me

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